Any additional action will be led by the new FTC chair, Lina Khan, a vocal critic of Big Tech who first came to prominence when she argued that antitrust laws focused on pricing were not enough to check the power of Amazon.
But while the FTC has another shot at that case, the judge dismissed a separate lawsuit filed by the 48 states challenging Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, saying that they had waited too long to file their case. He did note that this issue of timing did not exist for the FTC, which could choose to investigate any merger at any point at which it believes it has cause.
Facebook—and its investors—have called the decision a victory. In the wake of the decision, the company’s stock price increased by 4.2%, pushing its market capitalization past $1 trillion for the first time in its history.